tv KQED Newsroom PBS April 6, 2019 1:00am-1:30am PDT
tonighton kqed newsriment, a fight heats up over a centere for the hs in san francisco. and the comeback of methamphetamine. emergency room visits in san francisco. and state law makers help end conviction records.we begin with pg&e's over hall. it's replacesing most of bord of directors. this after monthth- andey face a tough challenge, guiding the comp an through its restructuring, embezzlement court.
meanwhile tough challenges for the mayor of san francisco as well. there's intense opposition to a navigation center on the embarcadero to shelter the homeless. >> here with a wlook at those stories and national political developments is kqed's politics correspondent. with wilson, walsh consulting and city hall reporter for the "san francisco chronicle." welcome to you all.id what the appointments of the new ceo, bill johnson, and the new board of directors tell us? >> itu depends on who sk. pg&e has famed the new ceo as people that have expertise infe , that there really going to focus on the nuts and bolts of pg&e. what critics are saying is this is ten directors, many who ha a lot of ties to wall street.
and i think it's importedant to know how things have prugszed. the stock has gone up drumattedically. we've seen aot of pressure around trying to push sacrament oeo to change policies. next twheek governor will be coming out with a set of oprupozalesround wild fire generally. and i thing this decision tout this particular group of people and bill johnson in charge is going to stoke -- >> and people now digging through the records and saying when he wasuke energy, he was ceo for less than a day and walked aw with a $44 million severance package. that doesn't instill confidence from members of the public. >> you have pg&e executives that have walked awayth severances
in the last round of bankruptcies. they go to the public utilities commission and get a guaranteed rate increase. ly no consequences to these folks. some political consequences. >> are there really? they know that the state needs them and i think that's why they're able to buck everybody in california and say we wouldt listen to wall street. >> there are a lot of steak holders in this. we have law makers want to have a say. we have wild fire viims. how do you think all of this will play out? >> i think this guy was brought on -- i believet's the tennessee valley authority he waw coming from. they were pretty sterling from the reports i've read.
he did well finanthally and for authority itself. but this organization has to come t of chapter 11 bankruptcy and then win back the publictrust and their biggest challenge is winning over trust for members who have seen a pretty catastrophic -- >> and given how dire the straights are for pg&e, what we've soon with the wild fires, it is pretty remarkable how much leverage they seem to be maintaining when ouple that with the other utility which the state does not wt to see enter chapter 11, ib have a hard time believing anybody but rate payers and taxpayers are ging to be the ones paying. >> san frusko is looking at buying from pg&e's assets and establishing its own independent power stem. there was a poll about how san francisco oresidents feel.
>> it's a very real possibility that theycould buy up significant amounts of san francisco oassets. the byzantine nature of bankruptcy court will have a lot to say about that. this week they put a poll in the field the ulre have come back. the san francisco public utilities commission. they went fully briefed, fully explaibod on what ing the assets would mean, in the billions of dollars with a "b". >> and you're buying assets that are in some cases over 100 years old. you've got a bad infrastructure and billions in upgrades. the legislature is going to probably mandate they underground utilities throughout the state, which is probably where they don't need to. it's hard to say that to people who live in the northertate who su those fires.
but there's places where it's appropriatend places where 's not. once u get the legislaturer involved the public utilities. er >> much morer to say on this. but i want t move on to a closclo closely watched local. and that is the center she wants to bring to the embarcadero. she was at a community g meetin a shouted down. there are places wi homeless shelters can move in with they're belongings and pets. >> i i thinks the specific location. sa's on the embarcadero, as people like the the city's front yard and not backyard. theti re has been in part -- we didn't hearer it from the mayorer before hand. heard fully balked proposal and people felt like t
not given any chance to have input. on the other side of the equation is a lot of people who look at homelessness as the singular -- nott singular most pressing problem. >> top three. >> they're looking at this issue and saying people are living and dying on our streets and we need get them inside.th re is no problem that is not helped by having a roof over your head and the idea o resisting putting people inside a shelter is repuginant to a lot of people in the city. >> certainly there are those contending this is anrea visited not only by locals in+$ san francisco but people allover the bay area come with their families abe kids. >> mll over the world. >> and are they not seeing homess people ow? one of the biggests complaints from the tousm board and chamber of commerce is how upsetting this problem has
beco, particularly downtown and in the embarcadero area. that's the argument proponents are making. we're going to see it play out around the state. the governor's proposed half a billion dollars for these sort of triage places. it is one of those issues i think everybody wants to solve but most people donant to take the burden on for. >> in fairness to the wrap-around services, that's how you're going to transition peoplelo into-term stability. generally people n't want people in their backyards. they tend to fight thingsy.ess vigorou if you put that over by the o presi heights, i bet you'd have the same kind of complaints from those neilborhoods as >> and there's a growing consensus, maybe a not a big one but let's put themhere. that we don't have a choice. this lot can be built more
quickly and the city already owns it, which makes it so attractbive.ng th that has ingended so much the response is the inflation that homelessness equates to eighborhood rous and that a shelter to house homeless people is going to rueen the neighborhood. that's where this comes from. we have to moal on to natiolitics as well. today a private lawyer for president trump told them not to release t release president's tax returns. th the ways and means committee is requestg six yes of returns. is there any argument treasury secretary mnuchin cld use to say no? >> number one, it's authorized under law for ways and means. that said they hve to have a
meaningful reason why they have o turn those records over. and they don't have that meaningful reason. es for you can't just do a fishing expudition to attack donald trump or ybody else for at matter. so if they had a reason, through ny of their investigative work where they could prove criminal activdone >> they want to see the auditing prauszess. >> they didn't get him on the mueller report and other issues. so i think this is fishing expedition. he wasnhe train after donald trump was elected about how he was going to g after trump and now he's living up to that politics. r inly democrats would love this for political reasons. you can't ignore the fact that we have a president who has main tinned businessnterests, whose sons are controlling it.
>> and the only president since nixon -- >> and there are very legitimate questions about whether the president is using hoffice to enrich himself, family and friends. i the argument republicans will make is what sean laid out andni thhis will end up in court. >> i want to talk about the subpoena. they voted to approve a subpoena to try to makettorney general william barr release the full mule report. minic, do the democrats face a back lash instead of just movingn to maybe economic isues? >> mayb i think there will be a tipping point. and i don't think it's very far away i beforer feeds into the witch hunt narrative. i'm interested in what they think they can get out of this information that bob mueller his
team did n regardless of politics. what are they going find? >> was barr rr's smagz of the report accurate as well. ha we don't knowwe don't know. >> for the democrats, screamed bloody murder for two yes. give the man time if anyone tries to slow or shut down this investigation, we're going to take action, right? all the sudden we got to issues subpoe get it out tomorrow? >> this is not we're going to hear for sure. thank you all. h since 2011 deate doubled. sath is now considered a public health crisis ifrancisco.
last year nearly half the visits to the psychiatric emergency at san francisco general were by people high on meth. in february san francisco mayor london breed announced a task force. joining me to discuss meth's ck comeba is health correspondent. nice to see you. so a obvious big problem in san francisco, meth use. how widespread is the epidemic outside of san francisco? >> it varies from region to region. in general what we'reeeing is a rise in stimulant use opposed to the opioid epidemic. more cocaine and pcp on the east coast. but meth is much bigger in the west. so besides san francisco o, it's big in los angeles. there's also pockets in denver and growing in texas as well.
so within the west and the 7 midwest, of local law enforcement agencies say meth is their biggest drug thrt. >> 70%? that is enormous. and you interviewed a number of meth addicts. >> at first meth can give you a really euphoric feeling. makes you happy, confident. i talked to a number of women and they talk about how it makes you productive a
they thi someone is after them. they're break nothing to people'sos. >> it can make you feel really paranoid. and that's why psychiatric ergencies at the loca hospital are so high. you actually can tell it t difference between someone who s really high on meth, called meth-induced psychosis and someone who has chronic schizophrenia.k they le same. covering the the meth epidemic in the early 2000s. because you could find the ingredients in deconjestants in the drugstore and congress cracked down it went away. why is it making a comeback now? >> they left a void but someone was going to come in and fill it because peop are still willing to buy drugs. so mexican cartels moves into
the void. so a lot off meth is made in mexico but brought to los angeles, which is onef the distribution centers for the rest of the country. >> and it's become very pure and cheap, about $5 a hit. >> that's one of the reasons people are buying it. >> and three for opioid addiction and yet nothing for meth. why is that? >> its to the do with the science. in the brain there are opioid recepts and these dgs have be developed target those specific recepts. but whenou use meth, it effects the entire brain, sohe isn't anything scientists can use to zero oin on something vektly. lots of things een tried.
antipsychotics and we're left with behavioral treatments. and in our health care system are difficult. they take a long time. they're expensive. >> you interviewed ishaiy>ñ sanford studyingwhy some people are particularly susceptible. and why would that help with future treatments? >> under conventional treatment, conventional rehab, 50% of meth users will end up relapsing within a year. so scientists at st are looking at mris while people look attu ps of drugs that stimulate their interest. it's really interesting. they found that there is very specific part of the brain that lights up. and so in discovering this,
they're hoping that will lead to more directed treatments down the line. >> but for w, like you said behavioral therapy, is that what they're having to rely on and other incentives that seem to work with addicts? >> so there is a contingency management and there's a program in san francisco that does this. people come in three time as week, t pea in a cup ae a test. and every time they testth negative, get paid. er it goes up to course of 12 weeks. and it works. we use it for weight loss. it'serer the same kf things used to teach cldren how to behave. but you can imagine taxpayers not liking the idea of our state programs paying drug users to
not use drugs so most insurers don't cover it. >> what do you think is the biggest challenge inddtrying to ess it had this? >> the opioid epidemic is -- anm sort of public perspective when somebody ods on opioids, they're kind of passed out on the sidewalk. but when someone has used too much meth, you get that paranoia. the psychosis. people maybe running into the c.ddle of the street, disrespecting traf so it's more of a public nuisance, if you will. i think it disrupts society in a different way. deaths have gone up. the absolute number of deaths are not nearly the same as opioids and that has made it
difficult to get more atntentiom more monee resources. >> thank you so much. >> and you can hear the rodio documentary at www.california report.org turninnow to state politics. california could soon clear the criminal records of millions of people. state assembly member it offered the measured believed to be the first of its kind. can be a major barrier to finding work, housing or public benefits. roughly 8 million could get elief without having to pay any money or petition state courts. joining me to discuss thisotand er legislative priorities. nice to have you back.av >> thanks forg me. >> first i'd like the ask you about pg&e's shake up of the board of directors and the
appointment of another ceo. the board 's been takenover by a number of hedge fd folks who seem like they have the interest of mun oney over the interss of rate payers. so we want to be sure we have an entitrganization that's going to come out of it and serve the rate payers better. i think we'll have to wait and see. let's talk about your criminal justice bill. the crimesligible to be wiped out areisdemeanorsr low level felonies like drug offenses. why doou feel it's necessary to do this? >> right now millions of californians. and undneath that are millions already eligible to have their records cleared.es many t you can get arrested and you're never convicted of
anything but that stays on yourricered and if you apply for housing, you may have to answer questions about some very minor conviction. what we know is for these millions of californians, it's hard to get employment, housing. so if we can automate that system. right now they can clear that record but it takes time, hiring a lawyer, going to court. talks money. >> $150. >> that's right. havehe attorney general's office do it. have one data base thget to the courts and the cous coul say that information is being with held. >> some thing you could havehe gone fa and followed colorado which authorized the courts acquitted of charges or acquittcharges were dismissed. >> so we tried thatapoach last year and couldn't get it out of appropriations because the courts came in and said that was very difficult to do, they
haven't spent a lot of time, money, and effort. t so we wanttake a step back. look at a process that was or cheaper andstreamlined. you have one party that does it' that wayconsistent around the state. and it the counties with hold tha information. >> let's talk about the college admissions scandal as well 13 bay area parents are among those charged including an entrepreneur who indicated this week he will be among the first to plead guilty. you authored a bill in response to the skantdal candal. what wouldyour measure do? >> so this measure really deals with theegal back door peep coming into. really dealing with donors and alumni. right nowelyou have mane universities. they reserve an express door of oprts for who donate or alumni.
they get 21 million in grants for low income students that go to usc. but they reserve 19% of their slots for donors and alumni. er >> children of donors and alumni. >> er what we want to do is say if you take the money from the state, you shouldn't show any preference for donors or oalumni. one front door where avr within gets admitted and evaluated. >> how would you go about monitoring that though? >> once you pass aws, you have to do follow up and make sure they do amend their policy. but they at first would have to do on their own. >> sort of on the merit cystsm at first? >> well, initially but we would do follow up oversight and do hearings to understand what the data is. there isn't a lot of published data. they keep all that informati to themselves. so one start would be to get more information, more data to
understand. 19% is not published anywheres n their we, we found that information via blog in a news article. >> and you'r receipts. of long i'm joking. fro you have a bill barring retailersoufrom giving printed receipts unless they ask forthem. but what e are you working on the days? whaut what's your priority in terms of upcoming legislation? >> that is one of ou priorities. we want people to actually bele o offer digital receipts first after 2022 nden the people who want paper reseats can ask for them.ha ts to us very important. for the environment, yes. >> what about your upcoming priorities? what's coming down the pipeline for you? >> i have two major pieces of housing legislation.
one around accessories dwelling units and ue other around surplus public land. this would insure it gets offered to affordable housing developers first with dwelling units known as grannyfl s, this would streamline the process throughout the state. right now you have a lot of sit especiallyealthy suburban cities have pretty much bannedthem. but in-laws are a way to get afford communities.hing to >> we know governorom nes budget he unveiled focussed on health care and early child hood education. ar there certaiprovisions you feel you may have trouble backing? >> overall the broad vision of the budge we're very asupportiv
what we'rer doing is getting into the details. got a proposal on housing and homelessness. we want to take a look at early education pieces i think were very supportive overall. >> thank you for coming in and sharing with us your legislative priorities.do and that wilt for us. assall was you can find more of ou coverage at kqed.org/newsroom.
robert: president trump changes course but sticks to his hard line. i'm robert costa, welcome to." "washington we brinkmanship at the southern border. president trump threatens to close it, then backs o. president trump: i may shut it down s ate point but i'd rather do tariffs. robert: the attorney general under pressure as democ request the mueller report and the president's tax returns. >> let's rise to a level of presidential in all of this. sh us the mueller report, show us the tax returns. robert: plus, the former vice president's conduct facese scrutiny asears a 2020 run. me, iis incumbent on think everybody else, to make sure that if you embrace someone, if you touch